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EU, Britain fix date to begin Brexit negotiations

17 June 2017

Mr Flanagan said he has raised the matter with Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, although it remains to be seen what deal is agreed between the Conservatives and Arlene Foster's party.

"If there is the expected positive outcome, it will be at least the start of next week before anything is signed off", a DUP source told Reuters.

May gambled that a strong election win, as forecast by some pollsters, would boost her majority in the House of Commons in time for the Brexit talks, but instead, her party surrendered 13 seats in the lower chamber.

She said it should be no surprise that the DUP wants a reference to the devolution of Corporation Tax in the deal.

The DUP's leader, Arlene Foster, said it was "right and proper" that her party would vote for Theresa May's Queen's speech next week.

Britain's giant banking industry and other business groups see Hammond as their most powerful ally in government and they were anxious when it appeared he might lose his job in the run-up to the election.

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The announcement of any deal between the DUP and Conservatives will likely be delayed because of the tragic fire in a London tower block.

Brexit talks will begin Monday.

On his talks in London with Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, he said they had offered an "Irish solution to an English problem" as giving Northern Ireland special European Union status after Brexit to keep an open border on the island. The DUP is one of the most socially conservative parties in Europe, having sought to maintain some of its strictest limits on abortion and consistently opposed gay marriage. "And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties".

"Europe is ready to start these negotiations".

The chancellor of the exchequer was asked whether he favoured a softer version of Brexit - such as British membership of the EU single market or of a customs union.

"But it will be the people of the north who will have to pay the price for the DUP's support for Brexit and for cuts".

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"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account".

"My clear view, and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain, is that we should prioritise protecting jobs, protecting economic growth, protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward", he said.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a Bloomberg Television interview this week that as soon as "the principles" of Brexit are agreed, talks can move on in parallel to "the details of the regulation, and what will be the further relations between the United Kingdom, after Brexit, and the single market and the European Union, and so on".

The EU's executive Commission said in a statement Friday that the first round of negotiations in Brussels will be part of a "sequenced approach to the talks".

But after a generation of discord over Europe inside her party, May's future could depend on her ability to please both the eurosceptic and pro-European factions in her party.

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